tv CNN Newsroom CNN September 20, 2012 9:00am-10:00am PDT
membership for professional sanity. if you have ever worked from home, you know exactly what i mean. >> you might not have a co-working space in your town yet. austin tends to be on the cutting edge. it's why my town is the best. don't worry. your town may eventually catch up. josh ruben, cnn, austin. >> i hope so, josh. thank you for that. hey, stay tuned, everyone, now for "newsroom international" with my fred fredricka witfield. thanks for watching. thanks so much. welcome to "the newsroom international." we're taking you around the world in 60 minutes. here's what's going on. sounds and pictures of fury from pakistan. in islamabad protesters converged on buildings housing several foreign embassies, including the u.s. embassy. the mood there was violent. rocks thrown. fires set to barricades. several injured, including police. and this was the scene in northeast syria today.
an air strike hit a village gas station. opposition activists say the strike killed 20 civilians and wounded more than 70 others. the death toll is expected to rise. and people in the former soviet republic of georgia are outraged over graphic videos reportedly showing prison guards abusing and raping inmates. thousands of protesters took to the streets after tv stations aired the shocking images. the president says what happened at the prison is a "horrific afront to human rights and dignity." the country's corrections minister has resigned over that video. more protests is and violence today in pakistan. as many as 1,500 people marched outside the diplomatic enclave in islamabad that houses the u.s. embassy and several other foreign embassies. some protesters carried sticks, threw rocks, and set fire to barricades as they marched. police fired warning shots to
disburse the crowd, but several police officers and protesters were injured. joining me now reza sayah. has it quieted at all? >> reporter: it has. the capital has quieted down, but the aept western protest did flare up several hours ark but i think it's so critical to point out that this was a relatively small protest. maximum 1500 people. there was some violence. some check posts set afire. they were trying to approach the diplomatic enclave. this is a walled compound, highly secured compound where you'll find the u.s. embassy, the french embassy as well as other embassies. it's incredibly difficult for anyone to get inside this enclave. even so these protesters tried to approach it. once they did, that's when the trouble started. some of the protesters throwing rocks.
police responding by firing shots in the air, firing tear gas in the air. as i mentioned before, some small buildings, check posts were set on fire. police telling us that eight of their officers were injured, but we can't repeat enough there's 180 million people here in pakistan. a small fraction, 1,500 here in islamabad, protested. the pictures are dramatic, and it's this mirpt that's going to make the headlines, unfortunately. >> so, reza, what's the motivation here? is it back to that u.s.-made video, or is it related to the cartoonist in the french publication? >> my impression is that most of these protesters are still angry about the movie, and they don't even know about the cartoon. what's remarkable is a week ago we contacted some of these hard line religious groups. they didn't even know about the movie then. it was only when the publicity came out that they were aware of it and these protests came out.
there's others who say it's not about the movie, it's bnt the cartoon. it's about a u.s. government many people don't like here. many don't like u.s. foreign policy in the region or afghanistan or the drone strikes, and oftentimes people link the u.s. government with the corruption they see in the pakistani government. a lot goes into the anger here. it's not always easy to explain, fred. >> thank you so much from islamabad. fierce street battles have killed more people in syria, and an opposition group says at least 82 people died today. cnn has obtained exclusive video from a journalist who spent time with rebel units fighting bashar al assad's forces. in the city of alepo, and it shows the fire -- the fighters aren't just syrians. they're coming from other countries determined to defeat al assad's regime. here's nick payton-walsh. >> reporter: in allepo, the
fight is most moechl syrian to syrian, street to street. but the radio is for us. a foreign fighter, he is libyan. he says he braves the regime's tank shells because his fight for libya compelled him to also fight. >> you know, as his tour in libya. you cannot say this is not freedom fighters. they want to be free of the government. i don't know why they watch. >> libya got nato's help. syria for now gets his. >> he has to --
>> the syrian regime blames foreign radicals trying to conger up fears of a takeover by islamist extremists. while he embraces religion, he dismisses extremism and al qaeda altogether. >> i'm only student. i left my money, my student, my family. not al qaeda. we're not coming to corrupt this country. we came here to help. >> reporter: there could be thousands of foreign fighters in syria. some radical. some not. while rebels may want battle harden the fighters here now, they may regret that when the extremists decide to stay, says one expert. >> i think we don't have any benefit in having them, but i think at this point because of their weaker weaponry and training and ability, they may
need them to fight. if you assume the fighting is going to be finished, as in they are there to stay and what we might witness is something like yemen where the fallen fighters will be able to set in areas or cities. >> he does say he wants a government for sear yashg but he wants to go back home. that's where he learns about loss. he still wears the shirt of his brother who died fighting in libya. and in syria he has already lost a libyan friend to a sniper agency bullet. >> one here and the second one was here. and the third -- can you see this. >> in the brutal syrian battle for every corner, the foreigners here and the concerns they bring of radicalism might be attracting more attention than their numbers merit, but the
u.n. believes their influence is growing and that some of it is radical, and that as this war drags on may well grow. >> and nick payton-walsh joining us from beirut. nick, we're hearing word about an air strike that hit a gas station triggering a deadly explosion. what more do you know? >> according to syrian activist, it appears that missiles were fired from an aircraft flying over this gas station. you can see pictures here of the devastation left behind. a number of cars hit. the death toll we are hearing, 30 dead at this point, and 83 thought to be injured, but those figures could change significantly. the death toll meant to rise. giving you context as to where this air strike happened. it's about 21 kilometers south of the border where yesterday a turkish border post was seized by rebels from the syrian army so, it may be fair to suggest this could be connected. an air strike perhaps or a large collection of vehicles in a
place close to that significant part of structure seized by rebels. no idea really if the dead are civilians at this particular point, but can you see the devastation. quite extreme. it's an example of the fierce nature of the syrian regime's airpower. devastating effect upon much of the country. frederica. >> nick paton walsh. thank you so much. from beirut. libyan and u.s. officials are gathering right now in the libyan capital of tripoli to honor the four americans killed in an attack on the u.s. consulate in benghazi. they will be holding a memorial service momentarily for u.s. ambassador chris stevens, former navy seals glen dougherty and tyrone woods, and information officer sean smith. officials believe the four men were killed by radical islamic insurgents who used a protest over an anti-muslim film as a diversion to attack the consulate. ala gorani has more on the kinds of concerns that ambassador stevens apparently had about his
personal security or the security of his fellow comrades there. >> right, and of american interests in eastern libya and other parts of libya as well. you know, all the way back in june of this year a senior libyan official was already telling cnn that u.s. drones were flying over suspected jihady camps, that this was already a cause for concern. according to the libyan official, and this is something, again, that was said a few months ago back in june long before this attack on the u.s. consulate that there are 200 to 300 men under the control of radical islamist commanders. in that part of libya, and one of the things that chrissteins was reportedly worried about was that there had been already efforts or that there were plans to attack the consulate in benghazi, the one that ultimately cost them his life and the lives of three other americans. interestingly, matthew olson, the u.s. national counterterrorism of the u.s. national counterterrorism center, told the senate homeland security hearing that the four were, "killed in the course of a terrorist attack."
that word is now being used. as opposed to, you know, initially in the confusion of the moment was this just a crowd that got out of hand, was it someone that happened to have heavy weaponry that used it, and it seems more and more as though this is something that was sort of in a more militaryistic way targeting the consulate. >> this certainly corroborates one of those theory that is you just mentioned. there were several theories that this was a planned attack and that perhaps that film was just used as an excuse as a real launching point to appear as though it was spontaneous, but maybe it was it wasn't. >> that's correct. we don't have the answer to that yet. we know the fbi is in libya right now. they arrived on tuesday. they're joining other u.s. officials as well as libyans there to investigate the attack, and i think right now we're still hearing from libyan officials. then this was preplanned. in other words, that the attackers used that protest against the anti-muslim film as a dediversion, and others say it wasn't necessarily preplanned, but it was an attack that was mounted with heavy machinery and
heavy weaponry against both the consulate and also we shouldn't forget a mile away from the consulate in what was considered a safehouse. >> it's cluner how long the fbi will be there to gather their information. thank you so much. appreciate it where are. what can our past tell us about our future? the attack of the u.s. consulate in libya is not the first time america has been targeted like that? up next we talk with a man who was national security advisor in 1979 when the u.s. embassy was taken over in iran. and a controversial experiment to reduce the number of murders in el salvador. ahhhh drill sound chirping electric shaver shaking remote tapping sound shaking drill chirping
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at the beginning of his presidency barack obama traveled to cairo. his goal, he said, he was to try to bridge the gap between the u.s. and muslim world by building a relationship based on mutual respect. by 2011 uprisings known as the arab spring had spread around the middle east and northern africa, calling in a historic
opportunity. president obama pledged stand with those seeking democracy. joining me now is cnn foreign affairs reporter ellise lavin. how has the president kind of lived township that, responded to the arab spring? >> well, fred, he really said it was a case by case in terms of individual countries, as you know. it kind of swept the arab world, but in every country it was a little bit different. in may of 2011 president obama made a speech talking about how he envisioned u.s. involvement in this region. let's take a listen to what he said. >> we have a chance to pursue the world as it should be. >> so, fred, what did president obama do? well, he, first of all, increased investment and trade in these countries in transition to spur economic growth in egypt and tunisia, for instance.
then he was very select about military intervention. he got involved in libya in a limited way, but you can see the administration has been reluctant to get involved in syria, and i would say he was also cautious with some allies balancing and promoting democracy with national security interests. he was pretty adamant that egyptian president hosni mubarak should stand down, but in bahrain he was muted in his response to the protest, but, fred, the president made clear that each country has to choose its own course and the u.s. can help, but can't impose the outcomes here. >> despite that, there's been a lot of credit simple from republicans, including that of candidate mitt romney who are not aligned with the policies and their approaches of the president, so what would candidate romney do differently in a situation like this? >> well, governor romney has accused the president of being too defer he shall, even pool jettic to the arab world and not sticking up enough for u.s. values and interests. in the wake of that attack on u.s. consulate in libya and
these anti-american protests at u.s. embassies that have been sweeping the middle east, he accused the president of weak u.s. leadership in the region. he said that president obama should have done more to shape the outcome of the arab spring in a way that served u.s. interests. let's take a listen to what he said last week. >> american leader shup is necessary to make sure the events in the rooj don't spin out of control. we cannot hesitate to use our influence in the region to support those who share our values and our interests. >> now, governor romney said if he was president he would, first of all, have been much quicker to act in libya with military intervention with much more u.s. manpower, and he, in fact, would have supported some of the candidates in these elections basically picking winners that reflect u.s. interests. probably wouldn't have backed those islamists, but back with u.s. resources. secular candidates. he would have made aid to arab nations more conditionally specifically in egypt, fred. >> okay.
and then let's talk about where some of this unrest began in terms of last week in egypt. president morsi responded to what was taking place the obama administration addressed it wasn't happy, and then there was different stronger words. how has that changed, modified the relationship between the u.s. and egypt from this point forward? >> clearly, president obama was disappointed with the response to the protest that the u.s. embassy and the lack of help initially to stop the violence so, in a recent interview, he put the egyptian president on notice that he didn't necessarily consider the country that's getting billions of dollars in u.s. aid a close friend. let's take a listen to what he said to the spanish language network telemundo. >> i don't think that we would consider them an ally, but we don't consider them an enemy.
>> i think this attack in libya has really thrown know offer guard. the question now how the u.s. engages in this troubled region, and both candidates are going to have to answer that as foreign policy is clearly becoming more central to the campaign. it's not just economy anymore. >> clearly, that's going to take center stage in the upcoming presidential and vice presidential debate. all right. ellise, thank you so much. protests erupt in the nation of georgia. graphic images from a prison in tublisi have shocked the country. the political fallout. so now i can be in the scene. advair is clinically proven to help significantly improve lung function. unlike most copd medications, advair contains both an anti-inflammatory and a long-acting bronchodilator working together to help improve your lung function all day.
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it's been more than three decades since islamist militants took over the u.s. embassy in tehran. they held 52 americans for 444 days. president carter's national security advisor during the iran hostage crisis is now a trustee at the center for strategic and international studies, and he is joining us right now from washington. good to see you, mr. brasinski. >> it's nice to hear you.
>> do you see parallels from the takeover at the tehran embassy and last week's attack in libya that killed ambassador chris stevens and three other americans? >> well, one very obvious parallel is that of a society undergoing extreme stress, breaking up, and becoming radicalized. that happened in tehran. that is to some extent what's been happening in libya. >> do you believe it could have been anticipated? >> which -- pardon? could you repeat your question? >> do you believe what took place in benghazi could have been anticipated? there are reports that there were, you know, security concerns that ambassador stevens had, that there was some activity of camps of extremists happening nearby. do you believe that the u.s. could have anticipated that the u.s. consulate would be a target? >> you know, the only responsible answer i can give you is that i don't know, and i'm not sure that anyone yet knows. it was a very volatile situation
into which an extremist murderous group interjected itself, but what was the relationship between that group and the larger crowd that was gathered, i don't know. >> is it your concern that's what's bubbling up around the globe in terms of various forms of unrest that this might be a prelude to something even bigger than what we've seen already? is that your concern? >> we have have toare in mind that we have to preserve our freedom of speech in this countr we should not be tolerant of what could be a conspiracy. a conspiracy involving multiple people with phony names or hidden identities trying to provoke the kind of murderous action. freedom of speech is not
entitlement. we are also concerned about repetitions, and that it will investigate the sources and intentions of the group that organized what appears to me to be a deliberate provocation that resulted in deaths. >> am i also hearing you say that there should be a more concerted effort by the u.s. to do something to stop the continued dissemination or the availability of that video in particular that is being blamed for helping to spark this in the first place? >> i think dissemination involves freedom of speech, and i'm not sure that there is a specific role for the government in that. we have a guaranteed constitutional freedom of speech, but i would think responsible agencies, responsible institutions would take into account some form of their inflammatory videos might
then generate, and i think that's something that we have to think about. i think it would be actionable under law. >> you mentioned some of the parallels. you know, the correlation between the extremists in iran in 1979 and that of what we're seeing in the present day. one big kitchens difference, however, al qaeda defendant's exhibit necessarily exist in 1979. do you this this further complicates the u.s. diplomatic efforts, what can be done on the ground to forge relationships, to get a real pulse of what is taking place in terms of extremist group activity, et cetera? >> i think we have to bear in mind that the vast majority of
slammic stakes, the extremists, the fundamental violent ones are a minority, and i think it's in our interest for that to be kept in mind and for us to maintain a posture that doesn't prove illicitous for the terrorist fundamentalist groups which can then exploit the animosity between the west and islam to their advantage. we have to be very strategically minded in dealing with this problem. >> if i can switch gears on israel. you know, how do you advise the obama administration how to move forward? you have been quoted in "the daily beast" a while back saying the u.s. should blow israel right out of the sky if it would preemptively want to strike iran, just as we've just heard netanyahu kind of articulate in recent weeks that this is something that he would want to do, whether he has the u.s. blessings or want. how do you advise the administration on moving forward
or having to deal with what netanyahu wants to do versus what you believe and what the administration believes ought to be done? >> before you start advising the administration, let me advise you. if are you quoting someone, in this instance me, make sure that you quote correctly. what you have cited me as saying is absolutely 100% wrong. i wasn't advising the u.s. government to blow the israelis out of the skies. i was warning that the israelis use american airspace without permission, there could be an incident, and i explicitly said that's nothing to be wished for, but there could be an incident involving the israelis and us. there was one back in 1967 involving the u.s.s. liberty that was attacked by the israelis and americans were killed. i wouldn't want anything similar to happen to either party. >> well, that was a quote -- that was a quote coming from "the daily beast." it was their reporting and not
ours, and so i was asking you if, indeed, that reporting is correct? >>. >> thanks for clarifying that that their reporting is incorrect, and that's what this exchange is all about, and that's the importance of the attribute use at the very start as well. thank you so much for your time. >> thank you. >> outrage in the country of georgia. the protest over a prison scandal. ♪ [ sneezes ] [ male announcer ] if you have yet to master the quiet sneeze... ♪ [ sneezes ] [ male announcer ] you may be an allergy muddler. try zyrtec®. it gives you powerful allergy relief. and zyrtec® is different than claritin® because zyrtec® starts working at hour 1 on the first day you take it.
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zoirchlgts an entire country's prison staff has been suspended over what's being called a torture video. it's all happening in the former soviet republic of georgia. the video reportedly shows prison guards abusing and raping inmates. matthew chance joining us live now from london. matthew, what more can you tell us about how this video was uncovered? >> yeah. absolutely outrageous scenes
that have been broadcast on national television in georgia of prison guards dressed in uniform, beating and kicking inmates in a particular prison. also scenes of terrible sexual abuse taking place as well. we're not showing you those images, but basically images of inmates being raped with broomsticks while chained to the bars in their jail cells. really appalling stuff. and the people of georgia quite rightly have been absolutely outraged at this. thousands of people have been protesting in the streets of the georgian capital. very angry. very disgusted at the scenes that they've seen and calling for the resignation of senior government ministers. already one cabinet minister in georgia has stepped down, as you mentioned. the entire prison service, the prison guards have been suspended pending an investigation, but it's all quite important because not only is it a terrible thing, but
there are elections due in georgia a couple of weeks, and this may be a big impact on the ability to be -elected zoosh in what way might that impact happen? what is the feeling there? >> well, there's always been for the past several years there's been a big political divide in georgia. some supporters of the government say, you know, this is a u.s. ally that wants to become a member of the european union and then nato -- member of the nato military alliance under mikhail, the georgian president, but there are others that say, you know, this is a violent authority tarn regime, and images like this have really sort of added to their credibility amongst the electorate so soon before the elections are scheduled to take place. >> all right. matthew chance, keep us posted there from moscow. actually, you're in london. sorry about that. thank you so much. all right. they say india has sold out retailers take to the streets to show their anger over foreign investment. [ woman ] it's 32 minutes to go time,
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taking to the streets to keep big grocery store chains out of their neighborhoods. protesters did that today in india outside delhi. >> shop keepers closed down today in a strike against the government's decision to allow big foreign supermarket chains into areas dominate by mom and pop stores. supporters say it will boost the local economy. in south africa platinum miners head back to bork today. they'll earn as much as 22% more after a labor strike that left 46 people dead. their wage victory, however, has sparked more violent protests. workers at nearby platinum and gold mines want pay raises as well. a woman was killed wednesday when she was struck by rubble bullets fired by police.
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rafael romo has details now. >> reporter: it was a meeting that raised eyebrows, sitting down for peace negotiations where the catholic church and leaders of the two most violent gangs in el salvador. >> translator: these gangs have made a commitment. they won't kill each other anymore, and we'll lower the crime rate among them. the church has only been the mediator. rirchlg. >> reporter: the truce called for laying down they are weapons, as witnessed by the secretary general of the organization of american states. el salvador, located at the center of the american region, known as the northern triaction newsle has one of the highest murder rates in the world. more than 70 per 100,000 people. before the truce reached by two criminal gangs, as many as 13 people were killed every day in the tiny nation of six million. the truce negotiated by the catholic church last spring was a desperate effort to end the violence and in the first few weeks after the pact the murder
rate was cut down by two-thirds. >> translator: throughout this process i have witnessed the construction of a miracle. >> reporter: as part of the negotiation process the government agreed to transfer as many as 30 of the most violent criminals from maximum to medium security prisons giving them privileges like flat screen tv's in common areas. critics call the government's actions a pact with the devil. >> translator: the only thing that's holding this truce together is saliva. as soon as it dries out, it's going to fall apart. why? because the criminal gangs don't rule themselves. they depend on organized crime. >> reporter: but the president says his government does not negotiate with gangs. the role of his government was only to facilitate the role of the catholic church as mediator. >> translator: the government only accompanied the effort of the catholic church to help
reach an understanding between gang leaders. it also facilitated the work of the catholic church by authorizing the transfer of prisoners from the maximum security prison to other detention centers. of course, this only happened in cases where the law allows it. >> reporter: but a recent spike in murders has some claiming the truce has failed and are calling for tougher measures to increase security. last april the salvadoran national police created a 400 strong anti-gang unit, insufficient at best when compared with the total number of gang membership in el salvador estimated at anywhere from 25,000 to 50,000. >> rafael romo joining us now. was this an offer of last resort, or might there be other solution that is they're considering? >> what this tells you, fredricka is the government in el salvador is so weak and so overwhelmed with the criminal problem that they had to basically sit down and negotiate with the gangs because there was no other solution, and one way of dealing with this, according
to some experts in the region, is to deal not on a country by country basis, but on a regional basis. similar problems are being seen in honduras and neighboring honduras and guatemala and also the drug problem in mexico and the criminalality there is having a spillover impact in central america, and so what they're advocating for is getting together, sitting down at the table and trying to find a regional solution because these countries that are among the poorest in the western hemisphere can't really do it by themselves. >> it's powerful stuff. rafael romo, thank you so much. appreciate it. all year cnn brings you the stories of extraordinary individuals working every day to find solutions to the problems that surround all of us, and now we reveal our top ten heroes. w. for more than 116 years, ameriprise financial has worked for their clients' futures. helping millions of americans retire on their terms.
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today rear rear vealing our top ten heroes of 2012. each will be in an all-star tribute, but only one will become cnn hero of the year, which you get to decide. first, here's anderson cooper with the top ten cnn heroes of 2012. >> i'm anderson cooper. all year we've been introducing you to everyday people who are changing the world. we call them cnn heroes. well, now we announce the top ten cnn heroes for 2012. the honorees are in random order, connie, helping children who are caring for ill or aging loved ones to stay in school and hold on to their childhood. pushpa, saves innocent children from growing up behind bars with their incarcerated parents.
he organizeses his community to educate hundreds of their next generation. mary, enlists man's best friend to give fellow veterans a way to move beyond ptsd and into life again. malya has turned personal trauma into a fight for justice for thousands of rape survivors in haiti. after using sports to fight his own addiction, scott strohhed now helps former addicts to stay fit and sober. wanda butts brings water safety and swimming lessons to those most vulnerable, black and latino children. catalina insures healthy deliveries and solid futures for columbian teens already facing motherhood. leo mccarthy's tragic loss of his daughter sparked his mission to end the culture of underage drinking. and where terrorists stop at nothing to keep girls from being educated, razia jan fearlessly opens her school each and every day. congratulations to the top ten cnn heroes of 2012. tell us who inspires you the most. go to cnnheroes.com on-line or
on your mobile device to vote for the cnn hero of the year. so who will be the cnn hero of the year for 2012? you decide. go to c fl n heroes.com on-line and on your mobile device to vote up to ten times a day every day for the most inspirational hero and share your vote on facebook and twitter. all right. this would not have been possible just three years ago. ♪ >> where they are once again hearing the sound of music. details next.
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anncr: and here's where we are today... thirty months of private sector job growth. creating 4.6 million new jobs. we're not there yet. but the real question is: whose plan is better for you? the president's plan asks millionaires... to pay a little more... to help invest in a strong middle class. clean energy. and cut the deficit. mitt romney's plan? a new 250,000 dollar tax break for... multi-millionaires. roll back regulations on the banks that cratered the economy. and raise taxes on the middle class. president clinton: they want to go back to the same old... policies that got us in trouble in the first place. president obama: we're not going back, we are moving forward. anncr: forward. i i had pain in my abdomen...g. it just wouldn't go away. i was spotting, but i had already gone through menopause. these symptoms may be nothing... but they could be early warning signs of a gynecologic cancer, such as cervical, ovarian, or uterine cancer. feeling bloated for no reason.
that's what i remember. seeing my doctor probably saved my life. warning signs are not the same for everyone. if you think something's wrong... see your doctor. ask about gynecologic cancer. and get the inside knowledge. welcome back to "newsroom international." in switzerland these guys have made a breathtaking music video. just look. ♪ zurchlgts so that was xavier nado and cool singing their smash hit. these two have been making music on their own for more than 15 years, and have collaborated with numerous european and american acts.
on to afghanistan now. amid the strains of relentless violence, seemingly endless grief and pain comes a sound so much sweeter and peaceful. music has found its place back in afghan culture and it's coming to the u.s. anna has more from kabul. ♪ >> reporter: the sound of a budding pea pianist who two and a half years ago was living a very different life. ♪ >> reporter: i was working on the street selling plastic bags and chewing gum. now i go to school and study music. this 16-year-old had never touched aid piano until he medicine ahmad. the man responsible for creating the afghanistan national institute of music who believes through music the wounds of war can be healed. >> that vision was based on a
very strong belief in the power of music. >> reporter: with 141 students of which 41 are girls, the institute not only teaches music, but gives these kids an education thanks to international funding led by the world bank. ♪ >> reporter: and as part of the school's policy, 50% of placements go to orphaned and disadvantaged students. music is very important to me because it's my future, she splaenz. i want to teach other students. especially young girls. ♪ >> reporter: 10-year-old sapna and her friend, aziza both live at an orphanage. they're playing a traditional afghan song on one of the only pianos to survive the taliban's brutal five-year rule. most instruments were destroyed and used for firewood. if they were too big, like a piano, the taliban would blow it up with a grenade.
the taliban is bad, says sabna. every child, every human being should have the right to study music. nobody should interfere in their lives. it's hard to imagine music not being a part of afghanistan's rich and vibrant culture, but in 1996 when the taliban took over power they banned all musical activity, so if you were caught with an instrument, let alone playing with one, you risked being punished by getting your hand cut off. the institute has just found out its youth orchestra will be performing in the united states early next year to sell out concerts in washington's kennedy center and new york's carnigy hall. >> we want the people of the world to see there are afghan girls and boys performing side-by-side. that means to a certain extent that we've won and that really afghanistan has won. ♪ >> reporter: as this country